Selvakumar Knew Better

Selvakumar Knew Better

5.0 1
by Virginia Kroll, Xiaojun Li

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
This book tells the true story of how seven-year-old Dinakaran, an Indian native, was saved from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami by his dog, Selvakumar. The story is written from Selvakumar's perspective. Readers learn that though Dinakaran's family is unaware of the growing surge of water, Selvakumar senses the coming catastrophe. With his yellow fur bristling, he whines and barks his uneasiness. But he is told to hush. Even when the vibrations travel up his paws, urging Selvakumar to run, he loyally remains with his family. It is only when Dinakaran's parents shout, "Tsunami! Run!" that Selvakumar springs into action. He chases after Dinakaran when he runs home thinking it is the best place to hide. At forty yards from the shore, it is not. Desperate to get Dinakaran up the large hill with the rest of the family, Selvakumar grabs Dinakaran's shirt and pulls and tugs until his teeth hurt. Finally coaxed outside, Dinakaran sees the approaching tsunami and runs with Selvakumar as fast as he can, staying just ahead of the huge wall of water. Atop the hill, they look back at the destruction of the village, their flat houses "as if they'd been stork nests of loose straw." Selvakumar is suitably hugged and thanked for his bravery. With more than fifty books to her credit, Kroll wrote this story after reading about it in the newspaper. Shen's Books is donating some of the proceeds to the Tsunami Recovery Fund. Li's illustrations are exquisite.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-This picture book is inspired by the true story of an Indian boy, Dinakaran, who escaped the 2004 tsunami with the help of his dog, Selvakumar. While the boy's family innocently goes about their morning routine, the dog whines and paces to alert them to impending disaster. When Dinakaran runs to the house in the midst of the tsunami, instead of further inland, his pet stays with him until he is able to herd the boy to safety. Li's rich illustrations are breathtaking, but the tension and emotion wrapped up in the characters' faces are often lacking in the text. The narrative veers off course when the believable portrayal of a dog's extra sense turns into his fortune-telling: "Didn't they know that a mighty earthquake had rumbled under the ocean and would soon bring raging waves onto the shore?" A merely adequate option for a discussion on tsunamis.-Jill Heritage Maza, Conn Elementary, Raleigh, NC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Shens Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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Selvakumar Knew Better 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
learningtable More than 1 year ago
 Based on a true story, Selvakumar Knew Better is the story of a dog who rescued a seven-year-old boy during the Tsunami of 2004.  The story is told in a gentle way, so even young children can listen to or read about this massive disaster and the heroic dog who "knew" it was imminent.    Dinakaran does what many children do when they are frightened--he hides.  But, Selvakumar, the family's loyal dog, refuses to leave his side until Dinakaran is safe.  This amazing story is told with simple language, and is beautifully descriptive: "Selvakumar and Dinakaran didn't stop running until they reached the upper road.  Their sides ached and they panted heavily, their breaths feeling like hot coals burning in their chests... ...Finally they looked down toward the shore.  Selvakumar nuzzled against Dinakaran's knee, and they both blinked their dark brown eyes in disbelief."    The clarity of the illustrations in this eBook makes the story even better.  The pictures seem to come to life on the screen, the characters' eyes shine, and the scenes are perfectly portrayed.  Young readers become immersed in the story through the fear on the characters' faces, the impending gloom in the air, and the emotion and urgency of the situation.    Picture books and living books are a wonderful tool for teaching historical events, and Selvakumar Knew Better is just right for learning more about the personal stories from the tsunami.  The E-Reader format is a convenient way to store and carry this book, and Selvakumar Knew Better proves that the quality is just as good, if not better, than the printed page. This book is available through Kite Readers. {Editorial Review--The publisher provided me with a review copy of this eBook in exchange for my honest review.}